Mind won’t stop ruminating? Take your shoes off to encourage a state of mindfulness


A state of mindfulness is when you are entirely in the present moment… this means that 100% of your attention is on your sensory, cognitive, and emotional ‘unconditionally accepting’ observations of the moment that is happening (as opposed to being distracted by focusing your attention on the past or the future). To encourage a state of mindfulness I often try and remove anything that would be an obstacle or a distraction from the present… sometimes my shoes are such a distraction… so I remove them and free my feet to observe the present moment.

When I take my shoes off I must focus on my present surrounding so as to not avoid injury… there is intention to my steps… patients. If I am to get too caught up on my destination I will surely be left with blisters… and so with my shoes off I pay attention to the tactile wonder of walking…

I find myself walking in the environment… instead of simply walking through the environment.

The path gains intrinsic value… I take interest in each step

Sometimes it will be uncomfortable on your feet… walk slower… learn to appreciate the fact that you are able to feel a diversity of sensations.

 I never hike with cell phones, music players, work etc… many have asked if I think that it is dangerous to not have a cell phone… I believe that it is quite dangerous to always be with one… it is a buzzer that can force you away from your current setting at any point… stress is dangerous… peace and mindfulness is healing and wonderful.

I hiked my first 13er barefoot this year (I brought boots just in case).

I was so much more in tune with the mountain.

Life slows down… happiness replaces ruminations…

My feet are free… my mind is free

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.